Tag Archive | Notable News

Notable News: Week of September 14-20, 2013

What a week!  Some great stuff happening around the blogs I follow, and here are the highlights.

1. About that evangelism thing

I honestly can’t believe how many people messaged me about this one.  I don’t normally get more than one private message about anything at all, and here I sit with several.  Apparently, this is a topic dear to a good many of you.  While most people agreed with me, not all did, and a few let me know that not all evangelicals are cut from the same cloth.  Agreed, and I plan to follow up yesterday’s post with a bit more explanation of what I mean–particularly the difference between churches that evangelize versus evangelical churches.  Anyway, thanks for talking about this with me.

2. While we’re on the subject

Weird wavelength thing–I hadn’t seen this when I wrote my post yesterday, but this was Naked Pastor’s cartoon.

3. In my in-box

One of the coolest things about blogging is having my readers send me stuff they think I’d like or be interested in.  Got an email the other day sharing a link to this great post about misogyny in video games.  I happen to like video games very much, but I’m into racing and sports games.  I often find myself being unusual among gaming women because we don’t tend to like the same things.  So if you’re a woman who enjoys the same types I do, I want to hear from you!  What do you like and why?

4. Defining love

This is a fantastic article reblogged by one of the people I follow.  It explains very well the convoluted thinking in fundamentalist churches.  Dare I say it, this applies outside of religious circles.  One does not need to believe in God to think there is a “best” and that other people need to be bullied, coerced, or shunned into agreeing to whatever this “best” is.

5. Two sides, on coin

These two posts on Registered Runaway’s blog are superb.  What a wonderful and honoring story of friendship and coming out.  It is told first by the woman who received the gift of her friend’s revelation and then by the woman who shared her soul.  Bring tissues when you read them.

6. Fiction Friday

Here’s my latest flash fic.  There’s some sex, so if you don’t like that, don’t read it.  (OMG! Married people over 45 still have sex?)

Have a great weekend everyone, and I’ll see you all on Monday.

Advertisements

Notable News: Week of August 31-September 6, 2013

My links round-up is focused on responses to that lapse-in-judgment post shaming braless teenage girls for making boys think dirty thoughts.  There were lots of other things I liked this week, but due to time constraints and the fact that I had a doctor mining in my vagina this morning*, I won’t be posting them today.  You’ll just have to trust me that the Internet is actually cool enough to contain stuff better than one mom’s slut-shaming post.

FYI – a letter to my sons  This is just so beautiful, and it’s exactly what I’ve said to my kids.

JGR: FYI (if you’re a slut-shaming facebook stalking mother) Another witty, sarcastic reply that hits all the right notes about what’s wrong.

FYI (A Letter to My Daughter Sally) Best line: “And to be perfectly honest, I’m not actually primarily talking about teenage boys you will come in contact with, whom I suspect you will find much less hung up on your clothing choices than some would have you think.”

FYI (If You’re a Teenage Boy) This is probably my favorite response, but I say “probably” because there were so many good ones. This was the one that made me laugh hardest, though.

Our bodies, ourselves I’ve been reading Sarah’s blog for a while, and I especially love her stories about her “shorties.”  From one mom to another, well said!

RE: FYI (If You’re a Teenage Girl) Yet again, witty and hilarious.  The whole last paragraph is great, but especially this: “What I’m trying to say is that I don’t respect nor trust my sons, or men in general. For that matter, I don’t trust females either. I think that men are mindless slaves to their genitals, incapable of compassion, or reasoned decision-making.”

Dear Kim: My Son Is Not an Animal, and My Daughter Is Responsible for No One’s Sexuality But Her Own This one is more serious, but what I liked best is where she says that she will talk to her own children rather than everyone else’s.

We Can Do Better I don’t totally agree with this (there’s a little bit of slut-shaming in it, though Jen acknowledges this in a self-deprecating and humorous way).  But I do agree that it’s bizarre how boys and men have become charity cases when it comes to those tempting boobies.

Sexy Selfies: No Cause for Teen Shaming This is an excellent post on growing up, respect, and whether or not teens will regret their choices.

Dear Random Children of the Internet with Blogging Moms Best line, on promising not to write open letters to her children: “I realize it will just make me look judgy and kind of ridiculous and would in reality have absolutely nothing to do with actually communicating with or parenting you.”

A response to Mrs. Hall: Teaching our boys respect and self-control Like the previous link, this one was shared in the comments on my “FYI” post.  She directs the burden back to exactly where it belongs–on boys to exercise restraint and on parents to teach them how.

FYI: An Open Letter to Teenage Girls Who Don’t Always Wear a Bra This one identifies a key premise of religiously-based slut-shaming: adult fear of adolescent sexuality.  Right on.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!  I’m off to enjoy one last hurrah before the school year really takes off.  I’ll see you all on Monday for another installment of Fifty Shades of Hell.

______________________________

*Why are we so afraid to be honest about what goes on at the gynecologist?  I mean, it’s not like that old SNL sketch about the Ladies’ Room.  It’s an exam table and a cold piece of metal.  It kinda sucks (unless you like that sort of thing).  And for some weird reason, we whisper about it like that one family “incident” no one ever mentions, as though fully half of us don’t have plumbing that needs to be kept in working order.

Notable News: Week of June 8-14, 2013

Happy Friday! Here at our house, this is the last Friday of the school year (for the kids, anyway).  They’re done as of next Wednesday.  I’m glad, because I need a vacation.  The nice thing about the school calendar is that just when I’m starting to feel burned out, we get another break.  I’m going to be making the most of mine, that’s for sure.

Here are the cool (and not-so-cool) things I read this week:

1. The “question” of consent

Dianna Anderson has a fantastic post on dignity and not treating people as questions to be answered.  She rightly points out the inherent problem of calling consent a question and where the Church must tread lightly in regard to ideas open to debate.  Ironically, the same day I read this post, I read another one in which the writer cheerily talks about wanting to interact with “the gay community” in order to demonstrate how loving she is–all while simultaneously referring to “the gay lifestyle” as being outside God’s perfect design.  Guess that writer didn’t read Dianna’s post first.

2. The “question” of breadwinning wives

I highly recommend you make time to read all of Danielle’s response to Mary Kassian’s post on breadwinning wives.  I particularly liked the second part, My Marriage Is Not a Form of Prostitution.  In parallel, I’ve seen couples treat marriage this way outside of the career/financial angle–a lot of people seem to think that it’s an acceptable transaction to trade sex for goods and services.  I’m not convinced that’s a healthy view of marriage.

3. Questions for N. T. Wright

If you’re a fan of Wright’s work, you may be interested in his responses to readers’ questions on Rachel Held Evans’ blog.

4. The “question” of women teaching

This is a great read from Laura Ziesel about the illogical view of women as “more easily deceived.”  I have long held that not only can we not determine exactly when a boy is too old to be taught by a woman (many churches arbitrarily use 18), we also have the stupid view that a 70-year-old life-long woman of faith cannot teach a young, inexperienced barely adult male of 18 or 21.  Now there’s another one–that women, being weaker and more easily deceived, should probably not be teaching children, either.  What a load of manure; thanks, Laura, for pointing that out.

5. Questions for a couple coping with chronic illness

This is an interesting interview with a couple in which the wife has endometriosis.  I appreciate the wisdom in recommending that the Church develop healthier ways to talk about sex and relationships, especially given the fact that it’s never one-size-fits-all.

6. The “question” of PDA

Yeah, I admit I’m one of those people who prefers that couples not stick their tongues down each others’ throats in public or grope each other under their clothes on the beach.  But a little kissin’? Heck no, that doesn’t bother me.  It makes me just want to scream whenever I see someone on social media write,

I’m not homophobic, but I really don’t need to see two guys kissing.

I get it that some people don’t like PDA, but until everyone starts pointing it out when they see a het couple doing it, then those people really need to keep that thought to themselves.  Anyway, go read this article about couples who were asked to leave for PDA and then try to tell me it’s not homophobia.

7. Love isn’t a question

My fellow writer Aaron Smith has written a beautiful guest post over on Registered Runaway’s blog.  He says it all; I have nothing to add.

8. A question of point of view

Novelist Adrian Smith explains using second person.  I do it all the freakin’ time, on this blog and in casual speech, but I’ve never written a story in second person.  When done well, it’s good; when done poorly, it’s awful.  See if you can make it work. (See what I did there?)

9. The “question” of modesty

Oh, dear Lord, here we go again.  We women don’t know what we “do” to men.  Apparently, they have to repeat the internal mantra, “Don’t think about boobs don’t think about boobs don’t think about boobs dammit I’m thinking about boobs.”  This just seriously creeps me out, because I don’t think I know any men who really have these issues, but a few who do have managed to convince a whole generation of young men that they do, too.  So gross.

10. A question for Cheerio-despising racists

At the end of this spoof of the Cheerios ad with the biracial couple, the question is: “What? Now this is a problem?”  Go watch it and share the funny with your friends.

11. A story with a question

I’m not entirely sure what happens after the end of my story for Fiction Friday.  I’ll let you decide.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Notable News: Week of June 1-7, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad it’s Friday.  My kids have one last recital tomorrow, and after that, we’re done with performance season.  It’s always a lot of fun, but it’s tiring!

Here are a few of my favorite posts this week.

1. Femininity

I appreciated Megan Gahan’s Reclaiming Femininity because I, too, have struggled with accepting the frillier parts of womanhood.  I suppose all I would add is that being feminine isn’t about rejecting or embracing lace and ruffles and high heels.  It’s about the freedom to choose without shame.

2. Sexism

Sarah Moon continues her series “You Are Not Your Own” with this post about gender roles and dehumanization.  The photos she’s used to illustrate animalization and objectification are strikingly horrible.  Lately, I’ve started seeing some things creeping into my various social media timelines in which men are dehumanized in similar ways.  The answer to the objectification of women is not to do it to men, it’s to stop doing it.

3. Masturbation

Rachel Held Evans gathered 7 different perspectives on the subject and shared them on her blog.  I highly recommend reading it, and if you’re feeling strong, read the comments as well.  Unfortunately, there is still a lot of shame both in the act and in discussing it, so even if I don’t entirely agree with some of what’s been said (and generally think that “Christian” perspectives lack the necessary knowledge of basic human biology), I’m glad people are talking.

4. Writing

Feeling creative?  Like to write?  My fellow writers/bloggers Tamara Woods and Michelle Liew are running the Creative Buzz Hop.  Go check out the prompt and write something, then link up with them.  You’ve still got nearly a week for the current prompt, so get writing!

5. Dialects

These maps of regional dialects in the U. S. are interesting.  I don’t know whether it’s because of bias in the questions or because of my specific location or because my parents weren’t natives to the city in which I grew up, but quite a lot of these were wrong for me.  You can check it out and see if it fits for you.

6. Headdesk

A friend introduced me to this Tumblr account.  She sent me this one a few days ago and it made me laugh out loud.  It may have made me snort, though I won’t confirm that.  I also really, really like this one.

7. Cartoons

Two really good ones this week from Naked Pastor: Rob Bell’s bullshit and emotionally invested preconceived stereotype of women.  Boy, can I relate to the last one.  The one and only person I’ve ever blocked from my blog and my Twitter feed (other than bots, of course) certainly had quite a lot of it.

8. Slut-shaming

Here we go again.  I’m not really interested in the lives of celebrities, but this article made me furious.  It’s not so much about morals as it is about how people who otherwise don’t care who gets into bed with whom think it’s okay to go off on Kate Winslet for having children with the men she’s married.  It’s framed in such a bizarre way that we would not see if it were a man and his successive wives.  It’s also something done to non-celebs all the time, particularly non-white women.  Back when I was a school nurse, we had a student who was the middle child of ten.  He mother was not married at the time the girl was at my school, but she had a very young baby–which meant she was open to the ridicule of the staff.  I remember saying at the time that we didn’t know her life or her circumstances and we needed to shut up (and thankfully, my principal and the girl’s classroom teacher backed me on that).  Even then I knew that the attitude was both misogynistic and racist, though I didn’t have quite the words back then to describe what bothered me.  Anyway, we need to shut up about Kate Winslet, since we don’t actually know her whole story or her life and it’s not any of our business regardless.

9. Superheroes

I love these wonderful drawings of favorite women superheroes wearing more practical–and less skimpy–clothes.  Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure at first about the drawing of the men in skimpy costumes because (as I said above) I don’t think the answer is to objectify men.  But I think that’s the point of the drawing–that it’s equally bad when we make it all about paring down the costume so we can see ripply muscles and, er, other endowments, as well as underscoring the impracticality of saving the world in a bathing suit.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Notable News: Week of May 4-10, 2013

It’s been quite a week.  Here are some of the highlights of what I’ve been reading.

1. Charles Ramsey is a hero

The interview with Mr. Ramsey after the rescue was compelling.  He comes across as a man of great compassion.  I heard several people saying they thought “hero” was too strong a word, since “all” he did was call 911.  But I like how this article in the New Yorker puts it:

But one phrase in particular, from the interview, is worth dwelling on: “I figured it was a domestic-violence dispute.” In many times and places, a line like that has been offered as an excuse for walking away, not for helping a woman break down your neighbor’s door. How many women have died as a result? They didn’t yesterday.

So, yes, Mr. Ramsey is a hero, and those hostages are free as a result.

2. And speaking of victims

This is a fascinating article on the fixation with crimes against white women and girls.  Many years ago, a local girl was kidnapped and murdered by her neighbor.  When she went missing, it was huge news.  Everyone was in on it, and people were glued to the television.  I remember my mother saying that she felt terrible for the girl and her family, but she was disappointed that yet again, a white girl’s plight was more important than all the missing non-white children.  Things haven’t changed much in the intervening years.

3. Are Christians a persecuted minority?

The short answer is, “NO.”  If you’d like a longer explanation, though, you can read one here by Myisha Cherry.  I’m going to throw my own two cents in on this one.  I don’t appreciate being lumped (by other Christians) into the category of “maligned.”  I do not now, nor have I ever, felt as though I could not express my faith or my views–except as an LGBTQ ally in a conservative church.  Even when I held those conservative views I didn’t feel persecuted.  No one–not even my LGBTQ friends–ever told me to keep my mouth shut (though maybe they should have).  On the other hand, I was asked to silence myself among conservatives.  How much worse is it for those who cannot live authentic lives because of the disapproving words and actions of the church.

4. I have rage

In the last few weeks, I’ve had several online and in-person conversations with people about publishing and marketing and the biases there.  Despite all that, apparently some men seem to think there’s nothing “for them” to read.  Because the shelves at Barnes & Noble are not stocked with all kinds of action/adventure/spy novels or memoirs of football players and pro wrestlers, of course.  There is nothing available that men would like, right?  And of course, there are absolutely no men writing fantasy or science fiction, in case one likes those sorts of books.  Most of the classics weren’t written by men with men as the main characters.  But, you know, publishing is alienating half the population.

5. On finding our way again

Kassie Rutherford is a phenomenal writer.  There is something compelling about her words; she has a knack for venturing deep into emotional territory in a safe way.  This incredible post is about how beautiful our stories are, even if we’re the only ones who know them.

6. Sometimes, we’re all just tired

Andi Cumbo sums it up nicely in this post.  Maybe, in the midst of all our weariness, we, too, can find sustenance in the things around us.

7. Guest post

I had the privilege of writing a guest post for Dianna Anderson this week for her series “Account and Countenance.”  You can read it here.

That’s it for this week.  Have a great weekend, and come back Monday.  I will have my usual 50 Shades post plus a big announcement.  See you then!

 

Notable News: Week of April 27-May 3, 2013

It’s been a busy week in my world, with a busy weekend ahead.  I’m pausing the chaos long enough to highlight some of my favorites this week.

1. A little encouragement for my friends who are “actively dating”

It’s been a long time since I had need of language for dating, but I remember being in college and finding it strange how many of my classmates seemed to be there for the purpose of finding a husband (yes, women–because let’s face it, this is not how men talk about their college education).  I enjoyed Dianna Anderson’s post about changing the way we frame dating and marriage.  I hope this brings encouragement to those who need it.

2. Progressives, conservatives, and the abortion debate

I have nothing to add to what Rachel Held Evans has said.  For me, it’s been a discomfort in aligning myself with an aspect of feminism with which I don’t agree.  I’ve had to step away from the conversation for the sake of friendships, because when I’ve voiced an opinion–on either side–I’ve gotten some pretty hateful responses.  And that’s just my actual, real-life friends!  As a person with a lot of education and experience in health-related fields, I come down squarely on the side of “this can largely be prevented.”  Unfortunately, that’s a pretty unpopular stance on both ends of the spectrum.  My Christian friends often think I’m advocating rampant, consequence-free, sinful sexuality; my feminist friends have repeatedly said nasty things about “What if she didn’t consent? What if her birth control failed? What then?”  And I’m just left shaking my head.

3. A little more of Jennifer Knapp

Jennifer Knapp is my Christian music crush.  I loved her longing lyrics and unusual sound from the first moment I heard her beautiful voice.  Have a listen to this song, then go read her responses to “Ask a…” at Rachel Held Evans’ site.

4. Another round of the “Christian vs. Gay” debate–now with 83% more racism

I was morbidly fascinated by the ridiculous meme going around about how “hated” Tim Tebow is for his faith, while Jason Collins gets a virtual party thrown for his coming out.  This is my news recap, so I’m not going to repeat myself here about the magnitude of Suck in that belief.  You should just go read this piece on how Collins’ faith was ignored and the erasure of non-white Christians from public consciousness.  The article highlights the way black athletes are marginalized until they express something that fits into white politics.  I would take that further to say that it not only fits into white faith politics but also upholds white beliefs about black faith culture.  This isn’t limited to black people of faith, either–the same holds true for any non-white people who don’t fit neatly into the expectations of white evangelical culture.  It’s more important to fix that problem than to argue over whether the media likes Tebow or Collins better.

5. No more body shaming!

I should really write about this, but I’m so often appalled at the way Christians, who claim to be “in the world but not of the world,” really like to body shame people.  Thinliness is next to godliness, of course.  Well, no.  And if you’re not feeling good about yourself today, then you need to go read this wonderful post full of affirming, honoring truths.  And while you’re at it, skip the stupid Dove ads.  Your body/looks/”beauty” do not affect your ability to live, love, laugh, and be happy.

6. And while we’re on the subject…

I laughed so hard I almost peed myself at this parody of the Dove ad.  Warning: NSFW, because, you know, balls.  You probably don’t want to watch with your kids around, either, though I don’t think I’d care if my almost 10-year-old saw it (the little one wouldn’t understand it).  Before you ask, NO, he hasn’t seen it, and NO, I’m not going to show it to him.  I’m just saying that I think he knows what they are and what they look like at this point.

7. My latest story

Inspired by Mark Driscoll.  That man is a never-ending stream of blog fodder, including short stories.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you all on Smut-Shaming Monday (AKA Amy reads yet another chapter of Fifty Shades).

Notable News: Week of April 20-26, 2013

Woohoo! It’s Friday!  Today, the sun is shining and there’s hardly a cloud in the sky (miraculous, where I live).  I hope your day is shaping up to be fantastic.  For us, it’s the start of a 3-day weekend for the kids–no school on Monday due to scoring the state tests.

Here are some of my favorite posts for the week.  Go get a cup of coffee (or tea or whatever) and have a look.

1. Something that made me want to punch things

If there is any doubt that there is a link between conservative teachings on modesty/purity and the idea that rape is an acceptable punishment for “sin,” this should blow that away.  I get it about free speech and all, but this crosses a line.  It doesn’t matter that he’s not naming specific individuals; he’s making a lot of people feel unsafe.

2. Something that made me cringe

I admit it, I like most versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”  I’d really like to read the book that was just released about the song.  But I absolutely can’t stand the idea of “Christianizing” the song.  I’m pretty much not a fan of Christianizing any song–that falls into the squicky category of “Jesus is my boyfriend” material.  But taking a song that already  has more spiritual depth and changing the words so they’re overtly Jesus-y?  Yeesh.

3. Something that made me feel inspired

I’ve grown to dislike the phrase “a voice for the voiceless.”  About a year ago, I met a missionary who gave a talk to some teens about valuing the dignity of all people.  He said that while we may not think it’s much when a person lives in a hut with a dirt floor, to that person, it’s home–and they likely don’t feel the same way about it that we do from the outside.  He made it clear that it’s not our job to speak in the place of others about what we think they should want or need.  This fantastic post from Kathy Escobar is a great reminder of what advocacy should be.

4. Something that made me cheer like a fangirl

I love Jennifer Knapp’s lovely and unique voice.  I was enchanted from the first time I heard her sing “A Little More.”  So imagine my delight when I saw that she was featured this week on Rachel Held Evans’ “Ask…” series and the floor was opened for questions.  I can’t wait to read her responses!

5. Something that made me hopeful

Oh, Nevada.  You know we love you for your legal prostitution and your Sin City and your 24-hour Elvis chapels.  Now perhaps we can love you for marriage equality, too.  (Even if it is 3 years away.)

6. Something that made me laugh

I used to have a desk calendar of Jack Handey sayings.  I think it was a Christmas gift from a college friend.  This little game made me laugh out loud.  Can you tell who said it?

7. Something that made me pump my fist in solidarity

Three somethings, actually, with a fourth to follow.  Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding men, women, and differences.  The general idea seems to be that men are generic and women are specific–in other words, things written by or about men are about broad topics, while things written by or about women are only for other women.  I find this interesting, especially since as a blogger, I don’t see much difference in my readership–I have a fairly even split of men and women.  Andi Cumbo (who is delightful; you should really be reading her blog) has written this week on the subject:

There’s more to come on this topic.  I missed the blog round-up this week, but I think I will put in my two cents next week.

8. Something that made me proud

Let’s just say I’m acquainted with the blogger who posted these: Hilarious Lambs 2.0 and The Last Hilarious Lambs.  The lambs make me smile every time.

9. Something that made me satisfied

I finally finished my series about the Royal Family of Hell (for now; perhaps there are future misadventures in store).  I hope you enjoy the ending.

Have a great weekend!